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Using an Australian credit card in Thailand


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I been here around 8 years now and still have a credit card with zero balance but a sizeable limit. I don't need or use a credit card and would like to retain it as an emergency fund. I have had other cards not used for some time since I been here cancelled  or credit limit reduced to nothing. Just wondering if I used that credit card in Thailand for online stuff like Lazada, Ali express or even general things do they do the ridiculous ex rate thing or ??? I am pretty sure if you withdraw from an ATM it does the bank ex rate which is appalling. I think I have used my Australian credit cards and debit cards for things on Ali express and I remember there was no loss at all, parity per the advertised daily rate....not like where the banks give you an ex rate 20% lower than advertised rate.

 

How does it work these days....talking online purchase...maybe in store Central or Big C? Just use it a bit here and there keep it active. 

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Your 'daily rate' is not the 'spot' rate.

 

Most Aussie cardS will shave 2.5 to 3% off the 'spot' rate. Exceptions include 28 Degrees and ING Orange. These just off the top of my head, as I'm not from that part of the world.

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Sorry not 100% sure on the terminology lol. In layman's terms you mean you will get a few percent lower rate than what you would see on XE currency exchange? That for purchases right?

 

I was reading for Visa they have a worldwide ex rate or something. Mine is a mastercard. 

 

With companies like Ali express...they will give you a choice of currency you buy in I think?

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20 minutes ago, Kenny202 said:

Sorry not 100% sure on the terminology lol. In layman's terms you mean you will get a few percent lower rate than what you would see on XE currency exchange? That for purchases right?

 

I was reading for Visa they have a worldwide ex rate or something. Mine is a mastercard. 

 

With companies like Ali express...they will give you a choice of currency you buy in I think?

 

https://www.mastercard.com/global/en/personal/get-support/convert-currency.html

 

If you are paying in AU$ then of course no exchange rate fee. Otherwise 2.5% to 3% on average.

The converter has a space for you to put your bank's charge %.  The two products I named earlier would be 0%.

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Yes, you can use xe.com to give you an idea of the 'spot' rate. The Mastercard rate is slightly less. The 2.5% to 3% would be from using the Mastercard rate as a base.

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Why not just use it at Big C or Tesco or even 7-11 for a relatively small purchase a few times a year? Then it won't get flagged as inactive and there should be no changes the the account. A few % hit on a B200 purchase is certainly worth it.

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8 hours ago, Kenny202 said:

Sorry not 100% sure on the terminology lol. In layman's terms you mean you will get a few percent lower rate than what you would see on XE currency exchange? That for purchases right?

 

I was reading for Visa they have a worldwide ex rate or something. Mine is a mastercard. 

 

With companies like Ali express...they will give you a choice of currency you buy in I think?

check the T&Cs from your card provider. if it's someone like CommBank then you'll get hit with a 3% fee on top of the MasterCard rate. 

 

heck, they'll stiff you this fee even if the purchase is in AUD. they do this when they detect that the merchant is offshore.

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IMO you are better off having a Thai bank account, and a Thai debit card. That's what I have for Lazada.

I have two Australian debit cards, they are only for emergencies.

I suspect by the time the credit card provider does the exchange rate, and commissions etc. come in, it would get to be an expensive purchase.

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Op I make purchase using Paypal so the exchange is already calculated.

 

Also Use it for medical bills and the odd hotel.

Then pay it off in full at end month.  

 

Has worked out well so far they keep increasing my health insurance (cc limit).

 

Also the bank it is associated with increases my loc.

Not that I use them but again at over 60 it is the best med emergency plan going.

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27 minutes ago, Lacessit said:

IMO you are better off having a Thai bank account, and a Thai debit card. That's what I have for Lazada.

I have two Australian debit cards, they are only for emergencies.

I suspect by the time the credit card provider does the exchange rate, and commissions etc. come in, it would get to be an expensive purchase.

You probably didn't read my OP and maybe missing the point. I have a Thai bank account and Mastercard which I use everyday. I just want to keep my Australian Mastercard active and not have it inactivated or the credit limited so I can keep it for emergency use. Just trying to find out how much that is going to cost me

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2 minutes ago, Kenny202 said:

You probably didn't read my OP and maybe missing the point. I have a Thai bank account and Mastercard which I use everyday. I just want to keep my Australian Mastercard active and not have it inactivated or the credit limited so I can keep it for emergency use. Just trying to find out how much that is going to cost me

I did read your OP, and it did not say anything about keeping the card active. You did say other cards had been cancelled; however, I am not a mind-reader.

 

If you make one purchase a month on Lazada, that should be sufficient to keep the card active. Small purchases. I buy fenugreek seeds on Lazada, about 120 baht including delivery. Apparently recommended for lowering blood sugar, and SOL.

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2 minutes ago, Lacessit said:

I did read your OP, and it did not say anything about keeping the card active. You did say other cards had been cancelled; however, I am not a mind-reader.

 

If you make one purchase a month on Lazada, that should be sufficient to keep the card active. Small purchases. I buy fenugreek seeds on Lazada, about 120 baht including delivery. Apparently recommended for lowering blood sugar, and SOL.

I don't tend to take part in these petty squabbles but you seem to make a habit or this along with your "captain obvious" motherly advice on "maybe you should get a Thai bank account" lol.......and steering a post around to own off topic non related issues. Fenugreek?

 

I don't need or use a credit card and would like to retain it as an emergency fund. I have had other cards not used for some time since I been here cancelled  or credit limit reduced to nothing.

 

What part of this in the OP didn't you understand or you couldn't join the dots as to the point of the post as everyone else did? You are not a mind reader but you certainly make a lot of assumptions. One of them being everyone else is some kid of moron that needs to have pointed out they should get a Thai bank account lol

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You do not have to use it in Thailand to keep it active you just have to use it.  Buy something on an Australian website,  have it sent to somebody as a gift or donation  2-4 times a year.  Bloody easy.

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OP, I use a Citi, now NAB, card from Australia and the exchange rate for AliExpress purchases is reasonably close to to the bid rate on XE. As said above it should only be 2-3% from the mid market rate. But that could vary depending on your bank.

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Just now, GreasyFingers said:

OP, I use a Citi, now NAB, card from Australia and the exchange rate for AliExpress purchases is reasonably close to to the bid rate on XE. As said above it should only be 2-3% from the mid market rate. But that could vary depending on your bank.

I have found that also or I seem to remember it that way. The cost of the purchase was similar in Aus dollars to Thai baht as I checked after the transaction. Was a couple of years ago though

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2 minutes ago, Bill97 said:

You do not have to use it in Thailand to keep it active you just have to use it.  Buy something on an Australian website,  have it sent to somebody as a gift or donation  2-4 times a year.  Bloody easy.

It would probably be more expensive delivering "gifts" here and there than the few percent I would get on the credit card buying a few things here that I may actually need

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2 minutes ago, Kenny202 said:

It would probably be more expensive delivering "gifts" here and there than the few percent I would get on the credit card buying a few things here that I may actually need

so what do the T&Cs from your bank say about CC fees?

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By the way how do credit cards work these days? Used to be if the credit card company / purchase was paid for before the end of the month of the purchase there was no interest. Still be ex rates etc if applicable of course 

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Just now, Lemsta69 said:

so what do the T&Cs from your bank say about CC fees?

I did go and have a look It was very obtuse and about buying stuff overseas was more on safety and protecting your account. I didn't paw over it for hours but couldn't find any clear information easily. And it appears they certainly go out of their way to intentionally have it this way 

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8 minutes ago, Kenny202 said:

I don't tend to take part in these petty squabbles but you seem to make a habit or this along with your "captain obvious" motherly advice on "maybe you should get a Thai bank account" lol.......and steering a post around to own off topic non related issues. Fenugreek?

 

I don't need or use a credit card and would like to retain it as an emergency fund. I have had other cards not used for some time since I been here cancelled  or credit limit reduced to nothing.

 

What part of this in the OP didn't you understand or you couldn't join the dots as to the point of the post as everyone else did? You are not a mind reader but you certainly make a lot of assumptions. One of them being everyone else is some kid of moron that needs to have pointed out they should get a Thai bank account lol

You presumably missed the SOL reference. I'll save us both the trouble of further argument, as my advice is unwelcome. On ignore now.

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Just now, Kenny202 said:

I did go and have a look It was very obtuse and about buying stuff overseas was more on safety and protecting your account. I didn't paw over it for hours but couldn't find any clear information easily. And it appears they certainly go out of their way to intentionally have it this way 

yes they can be like that but unfortunately that's the only way we'll know exactly what rate you can expect to get. 

 

can you tell us the name of the bank and the specific card type? hard to be of much further use without that.

 

or maybe attach the PDF?

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2 minutes ago, Lemsta69 said:

yes they can be like that but unfortunately that's the only way we'll know exactly what rate you can expect to get. 

 

can you tell us the name of the bank and the specific card type? hard to be of much further use without that.

 

or maybe attach the PDF?

I appreciate the offer but really not that concerned about the fees so much....they are what they are...and don't want to go into the details of my bank account etc on a public forum. It just isn't wise. More concerned about my general OP question about using my card for overseas purchases. I am pretty sure using Mastercard or Visa the T&C of purchases is a global thing, not controlled by the banks. They may have some fees related to general purchases domestic or otherwise but as far as ex rate that is a Mastercard thing I think 

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24 minutes ago, Kenny202 said:

I appreciate the offer but really not that concerned about the fees so much....they are what they are...and don't want to go into the details of my bank account etc on a public forum. It just isn't wise. More concerned about my general OP question about using my card for overseas purchases. I am pretty sure using Mastercard or Visa the T&C of purchases is a global thing, not controlled by the banks. They may have some fees related to general purchases domestic or otherwise but as far as ex rate that is a Mastercard thing I think 

correct, the base rate is set by MasterCard and can be obtained using the website that was posted earlier. 

 

banks and merchants can of course add on any type of fee they deem fit and they don't necessarily have to disclose the exact percentage. or they can apply a surcharge that is higher than the merchant fee charged to them by MasterCard. so the effective rate can be much less favourable.

 

however, in my recent experience of using an Australian-issued VISA debit card on Lazada, no additional fees were added by the merchant or Lazada.

 

the only difficulty I had was that some local merchants don't accept foreign cards, presumably because the merchant fee is much higher (MC can take 3% or higher).

 

 

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I have an Oz credit card with a very high limit which I will only use for emergencies.

 

I have notified my bank that I am overseas as if I do have a transaction they may very well stop it if they don't have prior notification. They have assured me that if I continue to pay the yearly fee my card and limit will remain active ad infinitum. No need to do any transactions.

 

Attached is a presentative list of T&C's.

 

International fees and charges - CommBank

 

 

Edited by LosLobo
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Best credit cards no international conversion fee (2.5-3.0%) and who use the visa/Mastercard rates are:

bankwest zero platinum Mastercard - no annual fee, international travel insurance , no conversion.

 

ING orange

 

debit cards that are international fee free:

 

ING orange everyday (including foreign card ATM withdrawal fee of 220baht)

macquarie bank platinum debit card 

ubank 

bankwest easy transaction account

citibank 

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Thanks all. I use Lazada a bit so will be a good excuse to test it out purchasing a few things (Good excuse for the missus 🙂 )

 

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1 minute ago, darrenr said:

Best credit cards no international conversion fee (2.5-3.0%) and who use the visa/Mastercard rates are:

bankwest zero platinum Mastercard - no annual fee, international travel insurance , no conversion.

 

ING orange

 

debit cards that are international fee free:

 

ING orange everyday (including foreign card ATM withdrawal fee of 220baht)

macquarie bank platinum debit card 

ubank 

bankwest easy transaction account

citibank 

Some of those cards have good benefits but can have horrendous yearly fees, particularly if you are not putting them to use. Usually anything that includes "gold" or "platinum" in the description falls into this category. What about cash advances say....from my Comm Mastercard to my Comm savings account? (Not ATM withdrawal here)

 

I think from memory the thing use to be a cash advance attracted interest immediately at the full whack rate and a purchase would virtually be interest free providing you paid for same before the end of the month of the purchase.

 

 

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47 minutes ago, LosLobo said:

I have an Oz credit card with a very high limit which I will only use for emergencies.

 

I have notified my bank that I am overseas as if I do have a transaction they may very well stop it if they don't have prior notification. They have assured me that if I continue to pay the yearly fee my card and limit will remain active ad infinitum. No need to do any transactions.

 

Attached is a presentative list of T&C's.

 

International fees and charges - CommBank

 

 

I also have a commonwealth bank credit card with a very high limit which I will only use once every few years , since living here in Thailand since 2006.

 

They also have assured me that if I continue to pay the yearly fee my card and limit will remain active. 

 

For the last two years they even waived the annual fee ($349) after I rang them up and informed them about financial hardship during covid ....

Been with them since July 1992, and that long time relationship record  helps. 

 

They used to be able to send my credit card to Thailand without a fee but that stopped 5 years ago. 

Now days it's $20 (express post fee) for the commonwealth bank to send. 

 

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2 hours ago, Lacessit said:

I did read your OP, and it did not say anything about keeping the card active. You did say other cards had been cancelled; however, I am not a mind-reader.

 

If you make one purchase a month on Lazada, that should be sufficient to keep the card active. Small purchases. I buy fenugreek seeds on Lazada, about 120 baht including delivery. Apparently recommended for lowering blood sugar, and SOL.

Much as I hate Lazada for their disgraceful service, they are the only online company my Bangkok bank debit card will honour. Everything is fine with the likes of Lotus and Big C, but not online.

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6 hours ago, possum1931 said:

Much as I hate Lazada for their disgraceful service, they are the only online company my Bangkok bank debit card will honour. Everything is fine with the likes of Lotus and Big C, but not online.

I've had no problems with Lazada, perhaps I'm just lucky. Pay them with a Kasikorn debit card.

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